Ivan Djidjev is a remarkably gifted and versatile contemporary artist, who is at home both with some of the most ancient forms of art and the most modern.
“As an Artist I try to touch the illusion of eternity, and combine the many influences I am surrounded by when creating my contemporary works. Mosaic art resembles very much planting a tree, because the mosaic is just like a millennium tree, it is something that lasts forever” Ivan Djidjev.
Mosaic art being a branch of applied art, barely underwent any crises from its first shy appearances in Ancient times. We could say in brief, that in a way the Babylonian people discovered mosaic, Greeks made it harmonious, Romans made it elegant, and in the end Byzantines gave it a twist of incomparable exquisiteness. Mosaic is an expression of style and eternity throughout time continuing up to now.
Ivan is a trained and experienced mosaicist, having created traditional Byzantine-style mosaics, as well as contemporary mosaics in several private chapels in Bulgaria of outstanding quality and for private clients all over the world.
Ivan Djidjev’s icons are depicted in two main styles – Byzantine and Renaissance. The creation of icons has been considered a sacred profession throughout history: however the subjects the artist depicts, although prescriptive in nature, force the artist to focus on his skill and the essence of his painting, as well as on the religious subject-matter.
To portray a Byzantine work effectively, and to understand and convey the emotions and sacred meaning inherent in each subject, requires a combination of theological understanding, research and creative imagination, as well as consummate artistic skill.
In 2010, he was commissioned to create a gold leaf icon of St. Benedict, which was gifted to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI during His Holiness’ State Visit to Great Britain. This was in gratitude and respect for the recognition afforded by the Holy See to Ivan’s grandfather’s cousin, Fr. Pavel Djidjov, who was beatified and proclaimed a Martyr for the Faith by His Holiness Pope John Paul II on the occasion of His Holiness’ visit to Plovdiv, Bulgaria in 2002. This artwork is now in the Vatican Collection in Rome.
Ivan was born in Sliven in Bulgaria. At the age of 14, he enrolled in the Art College of Sliven, Dimitar Dobrovich, graduating in 1994.
For 2 years he worked in the studio of sculptor Vejdi Rashidov, who today is the Cultural Minister of Bulgaria. In 1996, Ivan went to Vienna, Austria, where he studied in the National Academy of Fine Art under Professor Michelangelo Pistoletto.